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  • Southside

Community rallies for Karla

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
Community rallies for Karla

Karla Stack has been suffering from Lyme Disease for five years. PHOTO BY DARREN KINSELLA

Community rallies for Karla

Karla Stack has been suffering from Lyme Disease for five years. PHOTO BY DARREN KINSELLA

A GROUP of big-hearted locals have come together to raise funds for a young girl who is suffering from late stage Lyme Disease.

Karla Stack, a 20-year-old student from Ballyroan, Rathfarnham, has been plagued by the disease since it first struck almost five years.

However, as it was undiagnosed Karla has had to obtain treatment from a specialised clinic in Washington DC, which has resulted in significant financial costs.

It now means that she has to make every effort to raise funds to cover the high costs associated with the treatment and hopeful recovery from this debilitating disease.

“I am a private person and if were up to me, nobody would know about the health struggles that I’ve kept hidden up to this point,” Karla wrote in a Facebook post.

“My parents (Pat & Vera) have been my rock. However, my current circumstances now mean that as a family we can no longer carry this burden alone and need all the help and support that we can get.

“By sharing my own story and situation I hope to spread awareness about Lyme Disease.”

Karla explained that Lyme Disease is a multi-systemic infectious disease transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.

It’s relatively easily treated if detected at an early stage and the appropriate antibiotic treatment is prescribed.

Most people get a tell-tale red ‘bulls eye rash’ that alerts them to the fact that they have been bitten by a tick. 

“However, I was not so fortunate and was left suffering for nearly five years undiagnosed,” she added.

“If Lyme is left untreated it can cause serious long-term problems.

“The disease attacks all the major organs and systems within my body.

“My symptoms are varied. Some days I am crippled with arthritic pain in my knees, hips and neck. My joints feel like they are on fire and they swell up, meaning each step I take hurts.

“Whereas on another day, I can suffer from severe migraines. My brain swells and crushes against my skull. The back of my head and forehead throb. I can’t think straight. I vomit from the pain. My body becomes sensitive to light, sound and smells.

“On a bad day it all comes at once. The pain is unimaginable and unbearable. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Not to mention the everlasting fatigue and flattened immune system. I never feel fully refreshed from sleep.”

A Go Fund Me Page (www.gofundme.com/karlas-battle-against-lyme-disease) has been set up to help Karla raise the funds to cover her treatment while locals have gathered around to help.

One of the organisers of an upcoming ‘Concert for Karla’ event says Karla and her family can no longer carry this financial burden alone.

“They need all the help and support that they can get,” said Bernie Halstead.

“It is estimated that in the region of €50,000 will be needed to cover the growing costs of Karla’s treatments.

“Karla and her family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since going public,” Bernie added. “The generosity and kindness of family, friends and the community of Ballyroan has been outstanding. Nevertheless, we must continue with the effort to support Karla on her journey to recovery.”

The ‘Concert for Karla’ that has been organised and supported by ‘The Boden Musicians’ and guest performers will be held in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ballyboden on Friday, November 17 at 8pm. Tickets (available at the door) are €10 each.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here